It is written:
“Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
Having learned that Paul constantly affirmed the right and responsibility of women to teach the Gospel, we need now to carefully examine this passage in 1 Corinthians 14.
How could Paul (in 1 Corinthians 11:5) advocate women teaching and praying in the assembly, and then teach that women are not allowed to speak in church services just a couple of chapters later?
Who are the ones that Paul says must not be allowed to “speak,” but instead to “keep silent?”
Why does Paul specify that these women could ask the questions at home?
What is the meaning of the word “speak” as used in this passage? Is Paul referring to absolute silence of the women in the church assembly? What does the Greek word used here teach us about the “speaking” being done by the women? What relationship does the “speaking” here have to do with the culture of the day?
Are there any suggestions that what Paul wrote here is a Gospel rule for every church throughout all time? Or, are there indicators here that Paul is addressing a specific cultural situation at Corinth?
These are some of the questions that we will turn to in order to understand this passage from the Word.